EPL

Newcastle 'determined to finish on a high' at Brentford, Howe insists

By Sports Desk May 18, 2024

Eddie Howe says Newcastle United are "determined to finish on a high" when they travel to Brentford on the final day.

The Magpies, who are seventh in the Premier League, travel to the Gtech Community Stadium still in the hunt to secure European football for a second successive season.

Howe's side trail sixth-place Chelsea by three points but, boasting a superior goal difference, can leapfrog the Blues if they beat Brentford and Mauricio Pochettino's men lose at home to Bournemouth.

The Newcastle head coach knows their destiny is not in their hands, but urged his players to be ready to pounce.

"It's a big last day for us, there's no denying that," he told reporters during his pre-match press conference. "We go into game knowing we have to do our part, which is win the game.

"That is no mean feat, it's going to be a tough game, and then we're in the hands of other clubs.

"The players are determined to finish on a high. We could have got more from the last two games and we didn't.

"We have to do everything we can to do our part. What we don't want to do is for the other teams to make a mistake and we're not there to capitalise on it."

Meanwhile 16th-place Brentford, who can climb to 15th by bettering Everton's result at title-chasing Arsenal, are set to finish in the bottom six - their lowest final position in the Premier League. 

Although Thomas Frank admits his sights are set on achieving bigger and better with the Bees, the head coach insists it has been a fruitful campaign with the club's top-flight status assured for another year at least.

"This season has been a good success," he said. "Every year you are in the Premier League is a success if you are a club of our stature. I just hate saying that because we want so much more.

"We want to be an asset to the league, we want to dream big and we want to do something special. But I am an optimistic person, I am positive, and I believe so much in this club. 

"The culture is good. There's a good atmosphere. We are pulling in the same direction, we are aligned."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Brentford - Bryan Mbeumo

Mbeumo has been directly involved in more goals than any other Brentford player in the Premier League this season with 15 (nine goals, six assists).

That is despite the winger playing just 24 of the Bees' 37 matches during the campaign.

Newcastle United - Anthony Gordon

Gordon has had a hand in two goals (one goal, one assist) in Newcastle's last two away games, taking his overall tally of direct goal involvements for the season to 21 (11 goals, 10 assists).

With Alexander Isak also boasting 21 involvements (20 goals, one assist), it marks the first time two Magpies players have reached that mark in a Premier League campaign since 1996-97, when Alan Shearer (25 goals, seven assists) and Les Ferdinand (16 goals, eight assists) achieved the feat.

MATCH PREDICTION: NEWCASTLE UNITED

Newcastle have prevailed in each of the last four meetings between the sides, and are unbeaten in all five Premier League encounters.

Brentford have only faced Crystal Palace (six) more in the competition without ever winning than against the Magpies (five).

Newcastle have lost their final league game in just one of the last nine seasons (winning seven, drawing one), with that sole defeat coming against champions Liverpool in 2019-20.

The Magpies are also unbeaten on each of the last six occasions they have finished a league season in London (winning five, drawing one).

You must go back to a 3-2 reverse at Tottenham on the final day of the 1972-73 campaign for their last such defeat.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Brentford - 37%
Newcastle United - 34.9%
Draw - 28.1%

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